Tish Sommers Papers, 1970-1985
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Brief Description: The Tish Sommers Papers include speeches and working papers, extensive correspondence with legislators and women's movement activists from 1970 to 1985. It also includes: photographs, drafts of published and unpublished manuscripts and research papers, newspaper clippings and publicity materials, organizational papers (correspondence, reports, fund raising and financial records), audio-visual material, awards, personal items, books and periodicals, and other miscellaneous items.
Held at:
Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA 92182 8050
Phone: 619-594-6791
Email: askscua [at] mail.sdsu.edu
Created by: Sommers, Tish
Volume: 62.5 Linear Feet
Acquired: 05/30/1986. 1988, 1990, 1991
More information is available at http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa/findingaids/html/SandageShirley.htm

I. Pre-1973 Issues

II. Pre-1972 Projects

    1. Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP)

    2. School for Community Action (SCA)

    3. Join Hands

    4. Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)

III. NOW and NOW Task Force on Older Women, 1971-78

IV. Women's Action Training Center (WATC) and Jobs for Older Women (JOW), 1974-76

     1. WATC Correspondence

     2. WATC Topical Folders

     3. JOW

V. Alliance for Displaced Homemakers, 1975-78

1. Displaced Homemakers (DH) Center, Oakland

2. Alliance for DH / NOW Task Force

3. DH Network, Washington D.C.

4. ADH Hearing Transcripts, Congressional Records

5. Donahue and Family Weekly Responses, 1976-77

6. Women's Day Article Responses, 1978

7. Over Easy Responses, 1978

VI. Older Women's League Education Fund (OWLEF), 1978-

1. Correspondence

2. Topical Files

VII. Older Women's League (OWL), 1980-

1. Correspondence

2. Board of Directors

3. Executive Committee

4. Financial

5. Public Relations

6. Topical Files

7. Social Security

VIII. Newspaper Clippings, 1973-88

IX. Coalition Organizations

1. California Commission on Aging

2. Gray Panthers

3. Western Gerontology Society

X. Conference Packages

1. California State House Conference on Aging

2. Gray Panthers

3. National Council on Aging

4. OWL National Convention, Louisville, 1982

5. OWL National Convention, Washington D.C., 1984

6. OWL

7. Western Gerontological Society

XI. Research

1. Track Record

2. Speeches, Testimonies, Course Material, Radio Commentaries

3. Articles, Papers, Outlines for Book Proposals

4. The Not-so-Helpless Female Publication Files

5. Growing Older Female Project & Interview Files

6. China Study Tour, 1978

7. Generations-Older Women's Issue, Spring 1980

XII. Personal

1. Birthday Celebrations

2. River Trips

3. Cancer Support Group

4. Sommers' Death

5. Financial, Will, Properties

XIII. Audio-Visual

1. Photographs

2. Slides

3. Cassette Tapes

4. Film and Videotapes

XIV. Publications

1. Books

2. Periodicals

Biographical Note for Sommers, Tish :

Tish Sommers was most known as an advocate of women's rights, especially older women's rights. She chaired NOW's Task Force on Older women in the 1970s, and in 1980 founded the Older Women's League (OWL). OWL is an advocacy organization with chapters across the country which has had political influence on many issues of importance to older women such as Social Security, pensions, health care and health insurance.

Sommers spent the majority of her life as a homemaker, though she was always active in volunteer work which involved a cause, such as poverty, or civil rights. After her divorce at the age of 57 she worked primarily for the rights of older women. She was influential in the founding of the Alliance for Displaced Homemakers which was responsible for taking many older women's issues to the White House, and for establishing a federal program for "displaced homemakers," a term she coined which describes the status of women who have lost their financial support through divorce or illness, and whose skills are not easily marketable.

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.
Subject Index
Feminists--United States
Older women--United States
Older Women’s League (U.S.)
Social reformers--United States
Sommers, Tish--Archives
Women's rights--United States
Genres/Forms of Material
Audio Recordings
Personal Papers
Video Recordings
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Acquisition Notes: Laurie Shields
Related Materials: Older Women's League Collection
PreferredCitation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Tish Sommers Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.